By Simon Jessop and Kate Abnett
LONDON (Reuters) – European Union rules aimed at defining sustainable investments should help reduce “greenwashing” by businesses, but better quality corporate data is needed to ensure they work effectively, a banking report said on Tuesday.
The sustainable finance rules will classify investments that can be marketed as sustainable, a move aimed at steering much-needed cash into low-carbon projects to deliver the bloc’s climate goals.
From January to August 2020, 26 of the region’s biggest lenders tested the EU framework across a range of core banking processes, including retail banking, trade finance and lending to smaller companies.
As the main providers of finance to companies across the EU, the ability of the banking system to track and report on whether corporate activities are sustainable or not could prove crucial in assessing the rules’ success or otherwise.
The lenders broadly welcomed the regulations as they seek to align their businesses with the transition to a low-carbon economy, the report by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the European Banking Federation found.
However, they also raised a number of issues, many of which were data-related and could require a phasing in of reporting requirements.
While many large companies are already required to disclose certain environmental and social information by law, the bulk of smaller and mid-sized banking clients are not, hampering banks’ assessment of their alignment with the rules.
Concerns over the quality, detail and standardisation of data is also an issue when looking at banks’ lending overseas, something that would be made more complex as other regions launch their own regulations.
The banks who tested the EU rules called on regulators to seek global alignment of regulations, and for better tools to manage data from clients, such as a centralised EU database.
While under no compulsion to lend to activities that can be classed as sustainable, banks see sustainable finance as a growth area that is likely to take on more importance in coming years should policymakers tighten environmental legislation.
With more investors globally looking to become shareholders of companies with a good record on managing environmental risk, banks are also likely to look to reduce their exposure to environmentally or socially harmful activities over time.
The European Commission is expected to finish the section of the rules covering climate change in the coming months, before they take effect in 2022.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop and Kate Abnett; Editing by Pravin Char)
Teaming Up To Accelerate Justicetech Startups And Investment – Forbes
Justicetech is at a pretty nascent stage. While there are some startups and investors in the area, much of the activity has happened in bits and pieces, without a comprehensive community or network, or even an agreed-upon understanding of what justicetech is. (One definition: technology startups focused on addressing problems faced by people who have been arrested, are incarcerated or are formerly incarcerated).
For that reason, impact accelerator Village Capital and impact investor American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact recently started teaming up to research and assess justicetech startups and investors and find ways to address their most pressing needs.
What they’ve found is that the most urgent need these startups face is raising capital.
“Our ultimate goal is to determine how we can mobilize capital toward justicetech solutions and startups,” says Marcia Chong Rosado, director, economic opportunity at Village Capital.
Assessing the Landscape
Their work started over the summer, when the two organizations got to talking about justicetech and what it means. Village Capital was looking closely at the sector, while, at the same time, AmFam Institute had started to make VC investments in the area, but was having trouble identifying the companies that best fit. “We were both struggling in our own worlds with the same issues,” says Nyra Jordan, AmFarm Institute’s social impact investment director. So they decided to work together.
The first phase included conducting a research and market assessment of the justicetech landscape. A report with those findings is slated to be released in March. Researchers identified six verticals within the sector, as well as different stages of the justice system, like incarceration and re-entry, that startups focus on. The verticals include:
- Financial health. Helping justice-involved people and their families achieve financial security and the ability to thrive.
- Future of work. Expanding access to education and employment.
- Government. Focusing on government systems—for example, making court systems more accessible and efficient.
- Healthcare. Supporting the physical and mental health of justice-involved people.
- Legal. Expanding access to civil and legal resources, as well as legal representation.
- Communications. Helping people in the system stay connected with family and friends and also link up with other service providers.
Money, Not Mentors
Conversations with advisory board members revealed that by far the biggest challenge startups face is finding funding. That is, entrepreneurs don’t need mentors. They need money. And, because many are BIPOC, groups that typically have trouble finding investors, the problem is particularly acute.
That finding seemed to cry out for the need to convene existing investors, as well as new ones looking to learn more about the area, and build a justicetech investor network, thereby addressing the highly fragmented nature of the current ecosystem. To that end, in April, the team will seek out 10-12 mostly pre-seed and seed-stage investors to join the network.
Part of the work after that will involve creating a justicelens investing framework, starting by investigating such issues as appropriate business models and exit strategies, as well as how it all fits into the broader set of tools in impact measurement and management systems.
Vote of Confidence
The findings they’ve so far uncovered have, in fact, already changed how Jordan is approaching working with early-stage companies. Shortly after AmFam Institute was formed in 2018, the folks there began sponsoring local accelerator programs and boot camps aimed at what they called justicetech or criminal justice reform, though without a more-formulated definition. But the recent research caused them to rethink how to provide financial support. “People are saying we don’t need any more mentorship. We need capital,” says Jordan.
That’s meant, for example, re-assessing when to give grants vs. equity investments. Thus, while awarding, say, a $10,000 grant might be helpful in certain situations, in others an equity investment might be more useful. “If you invest with equity, you’re supporting that startup for the long-term and banking on that business,” she says. Such a message also might be likely to attract more money from other investors who would be influenced by that vote of confidence.
Which Is a Better Investment Account: TFSA versus RRSP? – Yahoo Finance UK
Are you considering investing and searching for the top stocks to buy? Before doing so, you should know that whatever money you earn from investing entails a tax. You get a T5 slip which gives you a summary of your investment income. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) encourages Canadians to save money by offering many registered savings accounts with tax benefits. Two popular accounts are Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).
TFSA versus RRSP
The purpose of TFSA and RRSP is different, and the CRA designed them accordingly. If you use them optimally, you can make the most of them.
The TFSA, as the name suggests, encourages a savings culture. Hence, it levies a tax on your contribution but allows your investment to grow tax-free. Moreover, you can withdraw partial or complete amounts anytime without adding them to your taxable income.
As there is a tax benefit involved, there is a cap on how much you can invest. For 2021, the contribution limit is $6,000, which you can carry forward next year. If you were over 18 years of age in 2009, when the TFSA started, you can invest a lump sum of $75,500, the accumulated contribution of all these years.
The RRSP is the exact opposite of the TFSA. The RRSP promotes retirement savings, which require you to stay invested till you retire. For that, the CRA deducts the RRSP contribution from your taxable income but adds the withdrawals to your taxable income. And if you withdraw before age 71, it deducts an additional withholding tax of 10%-30%.
Similar to the TFSA, the RRSP also has a contribution limit, which is 18% of your income or a maximum amount the CRA decides. For 2020, the maximum amount is $27,230, which you can carry forward next year.
In both the accounts, over contribution brings a 1% tax. The TFSA and RRSP combined allow you to invest $33,000/year in a tax-efficient manner. You can also check out other registered accounts for more tax-efficient investing.
Maximize returns and tax savings using the TFSA and RRSP
Now that you understand the mechanics of the TFSA and the RRSP, you can maximize your returns and minimize your tax bill. You should look at three aspects when choosing the savings account:
Will the security you are investing in yield high returns?
What is your tax bill for the year?
How much can you save for the long term?
The TFSA investing strategy
Use the TFSA to invest in high-growth and high-dividend stocks, which can grow your money multiple folds in few years. This is because your investment income will be higher than your contribution, and the TFSA will exclude the investment earnings from your taxable income. TFSA is popular among households with after‑tax income under $80,000, according to the 2016 Census.
The iShares S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index ETF (TSX:XIT) is a good choice for the TFSA. The ETF has surged 267% in the last five years, converting $10,000 into $36,700. It gives you exposure to the top tech stocks trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. This 267% growth is when the sector was at a nascent stage. It has now entered the growth stage, and the cloud, 5G, and artificial intelligence revolution will drive the wave. The ETF has holdings in some top stocks like Shopify and BlackBerry, which even tops the Motley Fool Canada recommendations.
The RRSP investing strategy
While high growth stocks are good, they come with high risk, so balance your portfolio with some resilient stocks with stable returns using RRSP. Choose this account when the tax-saving trade-off is worth it.
If your taxable income is $105,000, around $8,000 of your income falls under the 26% tax bracket. But if you put this $8,000 in RRSP, you will save over $2,062 in the federal tax bill. Now that is a good trade-off. You can invest this amount in Canadian Utilities and earn $440 in annual dividend, bringing your total savings for the year to $2,500.
Optimize the benefits of the TFSA and the RRSP and plan your investments in a tax-efficient manner.
The post Which Is a Better Investment Account: TFSA versus RRSP? appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.
Fool contributor Puja Tayal has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Tom Gardner owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify and Shopify. The Motley Fool recommends BlackBerry and BlackBerry.
The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool Canada’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Motley Fool Canada 2021
Onex fourth-quarter profit rises helped by private equity and credit investment gains – The Globe and Mail
Onex Corp. ONEX-T reported its fourth-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago, helped by gains in its private equity and credit investments.
The Toronto-based private equity manager, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says it earned a net profit of US$597 million or $6.61 per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
The result compared with net earnings of US$187 million or $1.86 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Onex reported segment net earnings — which exclude certain items — of US$708 million or US$7.72 per diluted share for its fourth quarter, up from US$211 million or $2.04 per diluted share a year earlier.
Onex manages and invests money on behalf of its shareholders, institutional investors and high net worth clients.
It also owns wealth management firm Gluskin Sheff.
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